Measurements of the Sensitivity of Aerosol Hygroscopicity and the kappa Parameter to the O/C Ratio

Andrew M. J. Rickards, Rachael E. H. Miles, James F. Davies, Frances H. Marshall, Jonathan P. Reid*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We report measurements of the subsaturated hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles composed of single organic components of varying oxygen-to-carbon ratio up to relative humidities approaching saturation using the techniques of aerosol optical tweezers and an electrodynamic balance. The variation in the hygroscopicity parameter kappa between compounds of even the same O/C ratio is found to be significant with, for example, a range in kappa values from 0.12 to 0.38 for compounds with an O/C of 1. The measurements are compared with a review of all of the available literature data for which both the kappa value and O/C ratio are reported, and a new parametrization is determined. Critical supersaturations predicted using this parametrization yield values that have associated uncertainties that are comparable to typical uncertainties in experimental measurements of critical supersaturations. However, the systematic variability between kappa parametrizations determined remains large, consistent with the O/C ratio providing only an approximate guide to aerosol hygroscopicity and reflecting significant variations for aerosols of different chemical functionality, composition, and oxidation history. from different studies

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14120-14131
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume117
Issue number51
Early online date2 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • SECONDARY ORGANIC AEROSOL
  • SODIUM-CHLORIDE AEROSOL
  • CONDENSATION NUCLEUS ACTIVITY
  • CLOUD DROPLET ACTIVATION
  • AMMONIUM-SULFATE
  • CCN ACTIVITY
  • ACTIVITY-COEFFICIENTS
  • THERMODYNAMIC MODEL
  • HETEROGENEOUS OXIDATION
  • ATMOSPHERIC PARTICLES

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